Question about Canon SPEEDLITE 580EX TTL Flash

1 Answer

Inconsistent flash I have a 550 Ex speedlite used with an ST-E2 transmitter. Sometimes the flash will not go off, even though i know it seems the angle that the two must aline in is very specific (ie the speedlite sensor to transmitter sensor...but the flash will go off several times, then 2 totally black, then a few exposed,then blank repeat... I thought maybe it was the rechargeable batteries, but even using brand new alkaline AA has the same problem. also taking repeat shots with same settings will result in totally different flash exposure (mainly the second will be 2 to 3 stops darker). i've tested everything possible as far as settings, and i recently replaced the transmitter with the same ST-E2 (first one stolen) and all have the same results. this makes me think, if this is an equipment failure, it is more likely to be the speedilte and not the transmitter. Also a friend of mine tried to sync my flash with another, and my 550EX would pop almost 2 seconds later-meaning it won't sync with another flash! Please ..if you have any advice or tips or thoughts that may help me i will be forever grateful!. Whenever I take equipment in to the camera store, they press the test button and say,"It works for me!" and act like I'm stupid. But when it works, it works beautifully. It just won't all the time. Oh, I use a Canon 20D if that matters. thanks.thanks. G

Posted by on

  • stormy23 Nov 11, 2008


  • stormy23 Nov 12, 2008

    thanks for the advice. i will try the tests out and get back to you. but i have a feeling its just old and ready to die. i used it for about 300-500 shots  about 4 nights a week for the last 3 years, so i guess its about had it. it does look like its been to Iraq a couple times!
    I am shooting ETTL, and use a flash dome a lot of times, using Lithium batteries.

    are you saying that if I used  the Quantum Turbo Battery with cable this problem wouldnt happen? 

    I don't understand what you mean here: "Don't get this repair, just use this as your Master. "

    Thanks for your time and help...I will get back to you and let you know how it goes.



1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert who has answered 200 questions.


    An expert who has written 20 answers of more than 400 characters.

  • Expert
  • 216 Answers

Is it working now?

Posted on Nov 11, 2008

  • Alexander Lee Nov 12, 2008

    Hi Stormy23,

    You have a problem with the 550EX flash.

    Did you used with a Gary's or white dome over the flash and you were shooting ETTL modes, right?

    Most likely is the largest capacitor is on the way out or leads are corroded.

    First, try switching to different number on the flash for slave setting.

    Second, you are using 4 Energizer Lit. Batteries, not Nickel-Metal Hydride, right?

    Set camera to ASA/ISO100

    Set camera to aperature 11, shutter at 125.

    550's head in Vertical with dome or without. Or whatever you were using.

    Place subject at 7 feet. Head pointing at subject. Sensor at camera with good line of site.

    Place 550's IR sensor at 10 feet from the ST-E2 with camera.

    550 pointing right at the ST-E2 light.

    Place a miror in back of the 550, so you can see the Green Light.

    Press the Shutter or ST, does 550 flash?

    How long until 550 turn back to Green?


    Fire and look for Green Light and wait after 5 seconds. Then fire or press shutter button.

    Record for 55 flashes.

    Your 550 is over 6 years old. Who knows how long it was sitting at Canon and then to dealer.

    430/550/580 and Nikon flashes are not made to recycle in DC but AC. Using most with DC will weaken the DC circuits.

    If you have the Quantum Turbo Battery with the right cable for your flash, you won't run into that problem. Except burning and melting your head flash by shooting without resting in ETTL, that's due to that the power is 330 High Voltage going straight into the flash.

    Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony's flashes are not made like the Metz 60/70 series and QFlashes.

    Don't get this repair, just use this as your Master.

    Sell your ST-E2 and buy another flash. And use the new flash for Slave.

    Unless you are willing to take the flash apart?

    Suggestions: All flashes should be fired at Full Manual after 26 weeks or ends of the day, so capacitor won't leak and go bad.

    It's like a lawnmower, you have gas in the tank and expect it to start right away next year. Maybe the first six years, but after that ..:-(

    Do some TLC:-)

    Please respond back to my email.

    Hope they are helpful.



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Canon 550 ex speedlight - flashes okay. Won't sink with 60d (tried different cameras at dealer - same problem) Camera is okay .

Try these steps:
1. Set camera to manual2. Set shutter to 1/60
3. Set aperture to F5.6
4. ASA/ISO 200
5. 550EX on hotshoe
6. Do not set on slave or master
7. Turn on flash

Display must shows, ETTL.
If that doesn't work, you have to use the flash on manual.
Some of this model will not work fully on ATG Canon EOS-1D C, ATG Canon EOS-1D X IR, Canon EOS-1D X/60D/T4i because this flash is over 20 years old.

Unless you would want it to be modified by me.
But that can be costly when you can get the 580EX II for less than $425.00 USD.

Jan 01, 2013 | Canon Speedlite 550EX TTL Flash

1 Answer

Canon flash speedlite 550 ex ttl

Send the flash back to canon for Service this is not something that can be fixed in this forum. Do not use the flash the burning smell indicated a potentially dangerous problem and fire hazard.

Jan 09, 2009 | Canon Speedlite 420EX TTL Flash

1 Answer

Canon Speedlite 580 EX II

is your master flash set on a camera? The EX II has something that makes it have a 1 second delay when using sync mode, unless the master flash is set on the camera.

Dec 27, 2008 | Canon Speedlite 540EZ TTL Flash

1 Answer

Switch from film to digital cameras.

I also own a Vivitar 285 that i used with my Canon F1 manual 35mm camera. Most older cameras before the advent of digital, had a hot shoe on top of the camera, or like in my case, the hot shoe went over the rewind knob. I also had to plug in a power cord from the 285 flash foot and the cameras PC connection in order for the flash to work on some other cameras. The Canon Rebel XTi has a TTL (through the lens) hot shoe usable with Canon's own EX flash units. You can buy a "hot shoe to PC connector" if the TTL camera hot shoe doesn't work, but be extremely careful, the only problem that exists with the older manual flash units was the trigger voltage is as high as 200+volts which would fry digital camera hot shoes. I tried my unit with a Wein flash trigger device on the PC cord of the flash and my Canon D60 with it's own flash. All shots were overexposed and washed out highlights.  Here's a copy of the hot-shoe review:h The EOS 400D's hot-shoe can be used with Canon and third party flashes (although sync only on most third party units). The hot-shoe is E-TTL II compatible. Compatible flashes include Speedlite 220EX, 380EX, 420EX, 430EX, 550EX, 580EX, Macro-Ring Lite, MR-14EX, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2.  The Canon Rebel XTi doesn't have a PC socket to plug in a manual flash trigger cord which common sense tells me there is no provision to step up the voltage to trigger manual flashes - so my answer is this combination is not a good idea on a Canon Rebel XTi. Hope this helps.

Dec 12, 2008 | Vivitar 283 Flash

1 Answer

Remote Firing of Flash Units

The EOS 40D does not have a transmitter built in. The remote flash units must be set to "Slave" and the on-camera external flash unit (eg Speedlite 580EX) or transmitter (ST-E2) set to "Master". Note that the Speedlite 430EX doesn't have the function to act as Master and you need a minimum or the 580EX or a ST-E2 speedlite transmitter (or similar) as Master/s.

Jul 29, 2008 | Canon EOS 40D Digital Camera

1 Answer

Flash 550 lcd screen lighs up but will not fire the flash

$300. ? To REPAIR? Way out of line. Replace the unit with a similar flash or go for another brand. SUNPACK flash units are reasonably priced and the have models that work with Canon abd orher cameras.


May 29, 2008 | Canon Speedlite 550EX TTL Flash

1 Answer

Won't Work As Slave With Canon EOS 400D

Speedlites with the suffix "EZ" are never compatible with the digital EOS line-up. All models that do work are named "EX" (420, 430, 550, 580EX et al.)

Apr 03, 2008 | Canon Speedlite 540EZ TTL Flash

1 Answer

580 ex speedlite

Turn on flash while pressing some of those buttons with good batteries

Try switching from Meter to Standard Mode and move head around.

Try move the flash head(flash tube) in Manual mode.

It's in electronic locked up because you're moving that flash tube zoom too much. 98% of photographers use that mode:-(


Dec 07, 2007 | Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

2 Answers

Canon Speedlite 580EX

if u set the 580ex on master and the 430 EX on slave it works :) u dont need STE2 for this simple task.

Oct 18, 2007 | Canon SPEEDLITE 580EX TTL Flash

Not finding what you are looking for?
Canon SPEEDLITE 580EX TTL Flash Logo

Related Topics:

666 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Canon Cameras Experts


Level 2 Expert

176 Answers

old marine
old marine

Level 3 Expert

2140 Answers

Donald DCruz
Donald DCruz

Level 3 Expert

17130 Answers

Are you a Canon Camera Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides